Oaktober: Forestry Promoting Oak Awareness

OAKtober: Forestry Promotes Oak Awareness
Posted on 10/18/2021

October is officially celebrated as Oak Awareness Month, or OAKtober, in Illinois. Oaks play a vital role in the local ecosystem. They are a symbol of strength and majesty. Did you know that there are 10 types of native oak trees planted right here in the parkways of the Village? Every individual, organization, community, park district, forest preserve, and public or private landowner or manager can play an important role in celebrating oaks and oak ecosystems across Illinois throughout the month of October!

Check out these fun resources and activities to help celebrate OAKtober! 

- Events http://chicagorti.org/events Search keyword “Oaktober”
- Resources http://chicagorti.org/OakResources 
- Free Oak Saplings https://mwrd.org/treesrestore-canopy 

The Public Works Department has a very limited number of free Red Oak saplings to give away. Please contact Public Works at 847-368-5800 if you are interested. 

Why Should I consider planting an Oak Tree on my property? 

• Oaks create healthier communities by filtering pollution, purifying groundwater and providing shade.
• 100 mature trees can capture about 139,900 gallons of rainwater a year, reducing stormwater runoff.
• Oak trees and green environments support relaxation, reduce stress and boost overall mood.
• Oaks support more than 500 species of plants and animals including butterflies, bees and birds.
• Oaks cool the ground and diminish wind while helping stabilize soil with its root system.
• 250 species of birds pass through the region each year and have been shown to prefer oaks.

How should I care for my new Oak Tree? 
• Clear out weedy trees so oaks receive more sunlight.
• Remove non-native invasive plant species.
• While tannic acids in the leaves and bark guard oaks from fungi and insects, make sure to monitor the tree for both.

Sources: Chicago Region Trees Initiative/The Morton Arboretum